Come on who in their right minds would travel all the way from the far east on a bumpy uncomfortable camel to Bethlehem believing a prophecy was about to be fulfilled!
Did you know there are over 100 messianic prophecies in the Old Testament, verses that all point to Jesus Christ. Verses that talk about his birth, his life his betrayal and his death. http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/m_prophecies.shtml
These wise men had studied these scriptures and were prepared to make this journey of sacrifice to find their ultimate prize.
What makes these men “wise” wasn’t their scholarly attitude or academia but their astute perception and understanding of who Jesus really was. How do we know this?
The answer lies in studying the gifts they laid at Jesus’s feet.
Gold is symbolic of deity and kingship and is referred to frequently in scripture. In fact we read in Exodus about how the Ark of the Covenant was formed of inlaid Gold.
This gift was purposely given to the baby Jesus recognising his kingship being the son of the most high in human flesh.
On a practical note it’s value could very well have financed Joseph and Mary’s escape to Egypt.
Frankincense is derived from a tree in modern day Kenya and Somalia. It’s obtained by making small incisions in the bark allowing this white gum to flow out.
It is amazingly fragrant when it’s burned and so was used in worship as a fragrant offering to God particularly in burnt offering ceremonies. (Exodus 30:34)
Frankincense is symbolic of holiness and righteousness. By giving this gift these wise men were acknowledging Jesus’s kingship and how in righteous obedience he would become the ultimate sacrificial lamb.
Myrrh is derived from small thorny trees using the same process as Frankincense. The resulting myrrh-like resins are often referred to as Opopanax, Balsam, Bdellium, Guggul,and Bisabol.
It was widely used in the embalming of bodies during this time, other uses included a drink known as “Gall” created by adding wine. A cheaper version mixed with vinegar was offered to Jesus when he was on the cross. (Matthew 27:34)
Myrrh is symbolic of bitterness, suffering and affliction representative of Jesus’ death in his crucifixion for all of mankind.
All three gifts are prophetically chosen:- Gold for Deity, Frankincense for righteousness and Myrrh for suffering.
Jesus was the divine Son of God, who through obedience went to the Cross to suffer and die in order that we can be reconciled to God.
May this understanding fill our own hearts this Christmas with fresh insight and understanding. Amen.